Church Reaches $50 Million Settlement

Sunday, November 18th 2007, 9:59 pm
By: News On 6

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A lawyer representing 110 Alaska natives who allege sexual abuse by Jesuit priests says the Roman Catholic religious order has agreed to pay them 50 million dollars.

Anchorage lawyer Ken Roosa says many of the plaintiffs were altar boys and girls who "were beaten or told to shut up" when they tried to reveal what the priests had done to them.

Criminal charges were not filed against any of the priests, and Roosa says the settlement does not require the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus to admit fault.

But the attorney says the allegations involved more than a dozen priests and spanned nearly 30 years, from 1961 to 1987. Roosa says the victims were from 5-years-old up to teenagers when they were abused.

A spokesman for the Jesuit province says the settlement announcement is premature because some issues still need to be finalized.